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Forest Whitaker to Star as Louis Armstrong in Major Film

A forthcoming Louis Armstrong biopic will star Forest Whitaker as the revered Satchmo. Whitaker will also direct the film, titled What a Wonderful World after one of Armstrong’s most popular songs. The film is the first major motion picture biography of Armstrong to be authorized by his estate.

According to an article on Variety‘s Web site, What a Wonderful World, which begins shooting this summer in Louisiana, is being produced by Alain Goldman and Edward R. Pressman for the Paris-based Legende, the company behind La Vie en Rose. The script is being written by Ron Bass and the executive producer is Oscar Cohen, executive of the Armstrong estate and the Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation.

The Variety article quotes Whitaker (pictured), who played Charlie Parker in Bird, as saying, “Armstrong left a monumental mark on our lives and our culture. He lived an amazing life and, through his art, shifted the way music was played and would be heard after him, not just here in the U.S. but all over the world.”

The article also states that “Cohen, who began working for the musician in the late ’40s as his road manager, and later became Armstrong’s manager, is granting the filmmakers exclusive access to his personal accounts as well as to letters and other material in the Armstrong archives.”

Originally Published